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Sir Colin's statue to be unveiled

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/06/2017

Te Kuiti's most famous export is to have his bronze statue unveiled in his hometown.

The King Country town's main street will be closed from 11am on Monday for the crowds expected to witness the official unveiling of the tribute to legendary former All Black Sir Colin Meads.

Standing 2.9m high, the sculpture by Auckland artist Natalie Stamilla depicts the former forward, who was nicknamed "Pinetree", at the pinnacle of his career, which spanned 133 games, including 55 Tests, from 1957-71.

The ceremony will also mark the opening of the Meads Brothers Exhibition - which chronicles the careers of Sir Colin and his younger brother Stan, who also played for the All Blacks in the 1960s.

"The statue looks amazing," said Legendary Te Kuiti committee marketing officer Yvette Ronaldson.

"It's definitely a community event and everybody is invited to come along because it's not just a celebration for Sir Colin and Stan and the Meads family, it's also a celebration for Te Kuiti and we want as many people there as possible to enjoy the special day."

The unveiling may attract some personnel and supporters from the British and Irish Lions tour, where the side plays on Tuesday in Hamilton, about an hour's drive north.

There has been some speculation Sir Colin, 81, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year, may be too ill to attend.

His youngest daughter, Shelley Mitchell, told Newstalk ZB on Sunday that Sir Colin had not been feeling well and was concerned about handling the attention.

The unveiling will take place at 1.30pm and the Meads brothers exhibition will open at 3pm.

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